// How to make a Training Plan Step 4//



Here are the previous steps:

Step 1-Figure out what you are trying to ask your animal.

Step 2-Write down what you want to teach your animal.

Step 3-Make a list of behavioral traits.

AND NOW (again)…

STEP 4: Ask yourself this question: What is the most basic thing your animal knows how to do that you can build into your behavior? (This may require some serious thought.)

You may have to start as basically as “Getting my animal to take reinforcements from my hand.” I had to do this with Zeke. He was a stray, and as such, he was very aware of my hands being near his face.

I started by taking out a treat and placing it on the floor about two feet from me while I sat on the ground. I gradually closed the distance, giving him a “Good boy” every time he took the treat. When I was finally able to sit right in front of him with the treat, I placed it on the ground and let my hand sit there next to it. I gave him a “Good boy” when he ate the treat. Then I held the treat and as soon as he touched the treat with his nose, I gave him a “Good boy,” put the treat on the ground and let him pick it up. Then finally, we had a standoff and I held the treat until he took it from my hand (his biggest trouble at this point was the angle of approach—he couldn’t figure out how to take it from my hand, so we played a trial-and-error game until I found the right place).

Once I got around to the Sit behavior, I started from that beginning behavior. I knew that the way he takes reinforcements would dictate my cue.

Note: When you are hand-feeding an animal, you can expect to get nibbled occasionally—this is where knowing your animal’s body language is key, it will tell you whether your animal is just being a clumsy eater or whether it is being aggressive.

A good example: When the cockatoo I train bites me—which doesn’t happen very often—I look for two things: the position of her crest and the condition of her feathers. If her crest is thrown up and her feathers are slicked against her body, she’s bitten me because something has startled her and I was the victim of displaced aggression. If her crest is down, the feathers around her beak are fluffed up around her cere, and her body feathers are relaxed or slightly puffed, then I was holding the sunflower seed awkwardly and she grabbed my hand as a mistake. It is then my responsibility to react in the correct way. Anything I do reinforces that behavior. I have to be very careful to reinforce the desired behavior (remaining calm) and ignore the undesired (escalation to aggression).

Tip: Right now, I want you to stop everything you are doing and give me your undivided attention. Got you? Good. Erase the word “No” from your vocabulary. Your animal doesn’t understand what the word means, or if it does, it probably associates the word with something unpleasant, like a swat or a loud noise. The trick with training animals is to reinforce behaviors you want and ignore behaviors you do not want. NEVER USE PHYSICAL VIOLENCE TO TRAIN YOUR ANIMAL. This will only cause your animal to associate training—and by extension, you and other human interaction—with negative things. There are very few exceptions to this rule. Very few. Two or three instances and only immediately after the undesired behavior (from “What Shamu Taught Me About Life, Love, and Marriage” in which the author received said information from an instructor at Moorpark College).

(Source: )

Is a career in Animal Training for you? This video showcases many pros and cons of the field.

Offering desirable effects or consequences for a behavior with the intention of increasing the likelihood of that behavior being repeated in the future.
Positive Reinforcement

// Welcome to Fuck Yeah, Animal Training!//

In the spirit of so many other fyeah blogs, I have started a blog focused on training animals. This blog aims to educate, entertain, and engage all of our followers about as many aspects of animal training as possible. As we are supporters of positive reinforcement, the blog will focus solely on training involving the method.

We do not want to limit this blog to the ever popular field of marine mammal training or even training in just zoos and aquariums, no matter how wonderful those sides of animal training may be. We do, however, wish to include training from something as simple as a goldfish to anything as complex as a Grizzly Bear.

Submissions are open and we welcome as many as you can offer. We also welcome questions about anything related to animal training. We do ask that we keep this blog a positive, enriching environment for all involved.

Promotion is love and we love you any and all you give us.

Other than that, welcome to FYAT! We hope to be around for quite some time!

This is a FY blog dedicated to animal training - and not just the type seen in various zoos and aquariums around the world, but to the training that takes place in your own home with your own animals. Training is far more than what many expect it to be otherwise. We focus solely on the use of positive reinforcement and do not condone any other form of "training." We welcome submissions of all types and encourage variety as it is, after all, the spice of life!